HILLSDALE, Mich. – Behind the strength of a 32 point first quarter, Ohio Dominican's women's basketball team erupted for a 91-62 GLIAC victory at Hillsdale on Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers shot 54.4 percent from the field, hitting on 37-of-68 field goal attempts, to improve to 6-1 on the year and record their first 2-0 start in conference play since joining the GLIAC.
Facing a Hillsdale team that was 4-1 and holding opponents to less than 37 percent shooting entering the game, ODU made nine of its first 11 shots and led for all but 1:06 early in the first quarter.
ODU ripped off eight points in a 48 second stretch at the end of the first quarter on three-pointers by juniors Lauren Bates (Hilliard, Ohio) and Tori Beth Leader (West Portsmouth, Ohio) and a layup by senior Melissa Scherpenberg (Cincinnati, Ohio) to go in front 32-17, and the Chargers never cut the score to single digits again.
The Panthers led 48-37 at the break and stretched the lead to 69-49 late in the third quarter on a layup by sophomore Sarah Futscher (Wilder, Ky.). The lead swelled to as much as 32 late in the fourth quarter.
The 91 points scored are tied for the most by ODU in a conference game (91-72 win over Tiffin on Feb. 26, 2015). The 37 made field goals are the most by the Panthers in their Division II era, dating back to making 39 in a 115-111 overtime win over Olivet Nazarene on Dec. 30, 2009.
Four starters scored in double figures, highlighted by an 18 point performance from Leader. She made 8-of-13 from the field and also dished out a career high five assists in 19 minutes.
Joining her in double figures was Bates, who made 6-of-7 from the field to score 15 points while also dishing out five assists and coming away with three steals. Scherpenberg tallied 13 points and 12 rebounds with three steals, and junior Madi Rittinger (Dayton, Ohio) added 12 points and eight rebounds.
Junior Kayla Cook (Westerville, Ohio) came off the bench to score eight points, sophomore Darian Rose (Fort Loramie, Ohio) added seven points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals, and junior Lindsey Blanford (Xenia, Ohio) chipped in with five points and five rebounds off the bench as well.
Overall, the Panthers had a 47-37 advantage in rebounding and limited Hillsdale to just 32.3 percent shooting (21-of-65). Through two conference games, opponents are shooting just 30.1 percent against the Panthers.
ODU has now won nine of its past 10 games, dating back to last year.
Ohio Dominican will take on Ferris State at 6 p.m. Friday at Ohio Wesleyan, as Alumni Hall is unavailable due to graduation setup.
Contact: Scott Miles